When the safety net of treatment has been removed: patients' unmet needs at the completion of treatment for haematological malignancies
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Objective: To determine patients' information, emotional and support needs at the completion of treatment for a haematological malignancy.Methods: A self-report questionnaire was mailed to 113 adult patients.Results: Sixty-six questionnaires were returned. The most frequently endorsed patient needs related to care co-ordination and help to manage the fear of recurrence. The most frequently endorsed unmet needs included managing the fear of recurrence, the need for a case-manager and the need for communication between treating doctors. Predictors of unmet needs included younger patients (p=0.01), marital status (p=0.03) and employment (p=0.03). Almost two-thirds of patients (59%) reported they would have found it helpful to talk with a health care professional about their experience of diagnosis and treatment at the completion of treatment and endorsed significantly more need in the arenas of Quality of Life (p=0.03) and Emotional and Relationships (p=0.04). Conclusion: This study provides valuable data on haematological cancer patients' needs in the first 12 months of finishing treatment. It appears that many needs emerge or remain unresolved at this time. Practice implications: An opportunity for patients to talk with a health professional about making the transition from active treatment to extended survivorship may be helpful.
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